Harpists perform at Mechanics' Institute

ANGELIC tones floated around a packed ballroom at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute on Sunday.

Three harpists performed a variety of pieces as part of ‘The Magic of the Harp’ concert for a 300-strong crowd, who enjoyed a mellow end to the weekend.

Mary Doumany, who has been playing the harp since she was 12, performed jazz compositions for the crowd, which contained a mixture of old and young people. 

“It (harp) has a sound like no other,” she said. 

Carol Armstrong, of Sebastopol, described the concert as “beautiful”. 

Mary Doumany plays the harp.

Mary Doumany plays the harp.

“I’ve never heard a harp on it’s own before, it’s always been part of a orchestra,” she said. “I was surprised at the variety on offer.”

Irish harpist Maria Christina Cleary used a medieval harp on the night, which she uses to play her 13-15th century repertoire. 

The final act was Scottish duo Catriona McKay and Chris Stout, who played a combination of the harp and the fiddle. 

Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute president Ann Kato was pleased with the turnout and the number of children in the audience. 

She said a number of local children were involved in learning classical instruments, spurred on by famous Ballarat harp teachers including Jacinta Dennett, who is Artistic Director of the Melbourne Harp Ensemble.